Just a day after a panel in the U.S. House of Representatives met to discuss universal healthcare legislation, Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders announced that he plans to hold a Medicare for All hearing this May.
“I’m happy to inform members of this committee that in early May we will be having a hearing—right here, in this committee—on the need to pass a Medicare for All single-payer program,” Sanders (I-Vt.) said during a meeting on President Joe Biden’s latest budget proposal.
Sanders, a longtime single-payer advocate, declared that “as a nation, we should understand what every other major country does: Healthcare is a human right, not a privilege.”
“The function of a rational healthcare system is to provide healthcare to all in a cost-effective way—not to allow private insurance companies and private drug companies to make obscene levels of profit,” he added.
The committee chair also highlighted that according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), “Medicare for All would save the American people and our entire healthcare system $650 billion each and every year.”
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), who co-chaired the House Oversight Committee’s Tuesday hearing about Medicare for All, welcomed Sanders’ remarks.
As Common Dreams reported, during the House event, Bush asserted that “Congress must implement a system that prioritizes people over profits, humanity over greed, and compassion over exploitation.”
“This policy will save lives, I want to make that clear,” she added. “I hope this hearing will be one more step forward in our commitment to ensuring everyone in this country, and particularly our Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities, have the medical care they need to thrive.”